I am interested in knowing any thoughts on what farmers are looking for from an ag real estate ad or realtor. I want to know the type of person you might want to be looking on your behalf and what type of qualifications they have to help you.
- is it better that they tell you right out about their farming experience or should they prove it to you through their use of knowledge
- How do you go about finding farm land, hobby farm land, or acres with a home on it?
Any thoughts and advice would be great :)
If you are looking at farmland, I would stick with someone who knows agriculture.
We have alot of good members on www.realestate.farms.com website.
Hope this helps,
What great questions.
First of all if you are selling a farm you have to prove its viability especially if it is an existing operation. Too many realtors are very inexperienced when it comes to selling the business end of the farm. They show the houses but nothing on the operation and cash flow statements. Can't live on a farm if it is not viable. Another argument that can be used by the realtor is to state that it is the future owners responsibility to envision the farms future. This is true only if it is not an ongoing operation. Even if it is an annual crop that was grown on the land a realtor should have detailed information on the crops grown on the land for the past 5 years and types of fertilizer and herbicides used. The realtor should also have detailed soils survey from the current owner if the current owner farms the land. Any farmer worth his/her salt has this information on a split second notice ( or at least should have). This type of information can help sell the operation and also get a premium for the farm.
Thanks to both of you.
Joe - I am looking to see what qualities a person might look for in a person who sells AG real estate vs actually buying farmland.
David - thank you for the information. It is very true that with farm real estate you need to know as much about the land as you do the buildings on it.
If I were buying a farm, I'm not sure that I would take the realtor's or the vendor's word on the viability of the farm. After all who's responsibility is it to know what will work?
Furthermore, it would be interesting to assess the stand-alone viability of many of the farms that have sold in this area in the past year or more. Growing legal crops, that is . . .
I am not a farmer, but I do plan on buying arable land in the mid-term and perhaps in the long term farming such land.
To date I have made several serious enquiries about certain parcels of land, while I don't know much about farming I know enough to ask some basic questions regarding crop history, soil samples and typical yields. Every realtor I have asked these questions of either did not know the information or stated that such information would be provided on making an offer. Sorry, but both excuses are weak. I kind of want to know that information up front when considering a purchase.
I should say that my father has been in the real estate business for close to 40 years. He has never really sold farms or arable land. If he listed such property he may not know enough about the business end of the operations to speak to them with any confidence.
I think there may be a need for realtors with expertise in farming, but to effectively do so they would have to have enough business to make specialization worthwhile.